Somewhere, Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer are raising champagne glasses, toasting to their new left-handed pitcher.
The front office looked rather brilliant on Sunday as Jose Quintana performed masterfully in his Cubs debut. His final line: seven innings, three hits, 12 strikeouts and zero walks. Oh, and he didn't allow a run.
Unlike his tenure on the South Side, Quintana was backed up by his offense. The Cubs bats spotted him four early, sending the Twittersphere into a sarcastic frenzy:
Jose Quintana checking out this unusual early run support after his Cubs strike for 4 runs and 6 hits in the 2nd inning. pic.twitter.com/Sht12u4zij— Cubs Talk (@NBCSCubs) July 16, 2017
Quintana when he sees run support for first time in his life pic.twitter.com/YNuaPyUXg1— Drunk Kris Bryant (@DrunKrisBryant) July 16, 2017
After just two innings, the Cubs had given him more support than he's averaged in his career:
More run support in one inning for Quintana today than he averaged per 9 IP (3.95) the previous 4 1/2 years.— Gordon Wittenmyer (@GDubCub) July 16, 2017
The debut was special, but not unheard of. Remember Matt Garza? He put up comparable numbers in his first start with the club:
José Quintana: first pitcher with 10+ K and no BB in #Cubs debut since Matt Garza 4/3/2011 (both had 12 K and no BB)— Christopher Kamka (@ckamka) July 16, 2017
In Q's last start, which was with the White Sox, he also dominated hitters. He whiffed 10, putting him in an elite group, per ESPN:
We'll see if Quintana helps the champagne flow into October.